Chapter 219: I’ll pretend to be Hucheng’s boss
Li Wan’er continued acting wronged, or perhaps she was just being petulant as she buried her head in her chest, not saying a word.
Xu Tingsheng simply stopped speaking as well, silence descending for a while as he continued driving.
Pulling over at Li Wan’er’s destination, he considered for a while before still asking in the end, “What time at night? I mean, what time does that gathering of yours start?”
“Seven thirty,” Li Wan’er lowered her head, not looking at Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng looked at his watch, “There’s still a little over two hours. Look, you should go back and get some sleep. After you wake up, clean yourself and dress up a little. I’ll be here at seven to pick you up.”
Li Wan’er looked up at him, “I’m fine. I’ll look for you, you don’t have to pick me up.”
“Li Wan’er, you’re not young anymore. Where’s the meaning in pretending that you’re okay when you’re so clearly not?” Xu Tingsheng chided impatiently, “ Just look at how you are right now. Look in the rearview mirror, please. There’s no way I could bring a woman like this to some social gathering! It’s like you were just trampled over and utterly ruined by someone.”
Li Wan’er looked in the rearview mirror like Xu Tingsheng had asked, and ended up scaring herself. The Li Wan’er in the mirror wasn’t far from a female ghost, being just so far away from that her of the past who had once had every single strand of her hair combed immaculately.
“I’ll wait for you then.”
Li Wan’er got off the car.
Xu Tingsheng drove back to his hotel. He got a haircut at the salon downstairs before taking a bath in his hotel room. Then, he found that suit that belonged to him and meticulously put it on.
Xu Tingsheng looked at his reflection in the mirror, finding a different him staring back at him.
This was the first time he was putting in so much effort in his appearance, the first time he was dressed so formally in a well-fitting suit, complete with tie, high-end shirt and the leather shoes which he was not all that used to…
Li Wan’er’s skill and stylistic choices were indeed very good.
Sadly, Big Xiang Ning had never seen it before, and Little Xiang Ning wasn’t here.
Meanwhile, after reaching home, Li Wan’er immediately gave the card with the 140000 yuan that she had just earned to her mother, asking her to take a trip to the hospital first. Then, like Xu Tingsheng had advised, she slept for a while.
Everything that had happened today, her request for Xu Tingsheng, how she had wept, raged and vented in front of a twenty-year-old boy, throwing a fit, complaining, even acting spoiled…
Never would the past her have imagined any of this.
Li Wan’er fell asleep very quickly. In her dream, that twenty-year-old boy still appeared, still said, “You can rest assured, I’m not going to hit on you. Don’t worry, this Uncle has no interest in old woman. Alright, stop crying. I was a bit fierce just now, sorry.”
This boy was just an asshole, also liking to act mature, actually addressing himself as Uncle in front of her. He was also callous, not possessing any sympathy, not knowing how to treasure a frail, delicate girl like her at all. He was also fierce, and…
But even as the dreaming Li Wan’er thought about this, she also involuntarily began defending him for some reason.
She thought of how he had concealed the matter of the Mercedes-Benz having been damaged for her. Would his boss find out about this matter?
She thought about how he had yelled her off the van, next saying not even a single word as he had parked it for her before forcing her onto his car in a totally unreasonable manner, not even deigning to ask for her thoughts on the matter.
Finally, she thought about how he had fallen headfirst onto her thigh, reaching out and grabbing her leg…
At this, a blushing Li Wan’er woke up.
Her face feeling hot, her heavy mood seemingly having been alleviated somewhat by such atypical emotions of hers, Li Wan’er took a bath, after which she changed into a snow-white blouse and skirt before finally beginning to put on some makeup.
She already hadn’t properly put on any makeup for quite a few days.
Li Wan’er looked at her reflection in the mirror, Xu Tingsheng’s appraisal resounding in her ears.
“I’m clearly not that old,” Li Wan’er told her reflection softly.
Having lived overseas for a few years, Li Wan’er was very skilled at applying makeup. Because of what Xu Tingsheng had called her, she felt petulant as she specially applied makeup to make herself look youthful and spirited.
Xu Tingsheng’s call came in punctually at 7pm.
“I’m at where I dropped you off just now,” He told her.
“Alright. I’ll be right there,” Li Wan’er hung up, taking one final glance at herself in the mirror before hurriedly leaving her house.
When she arrived, Xu Tingsheng was in the midst of listlessly smoking as he leaned against the door of his car.
Looking at him, Li Wan’er was slightly taken aback. The current Xu Tingsheng emanated an entirely different feeling from before. Li Wan’er had not thought that this boy who looked only twenty would actually appear as outstanding as this when garbed in formal attire.
Most surprisingly was that he actually seemed to have suddenly gained a mature aura.
Li Wan’er stopped in her tracks.
As Xu Tingsheng turned to look at her, he too was momentarily stunned. He had already known that Li Wan’er was assuredly a beauty who could topple cities and nations, bringing calamity to their citizens. Yet, he still felt shaken and disorientated as he saw her all dressed up like this.
The thirty-year-old Li Wan’er appeared no more then 27 or 28 now, still being a mature woman as compared to those girls close to Xu Tingsheng. Still, that maturity was not a deficiency as it was instead harmonious and bountiful.
“Get on the car,” Xu Tingsheng said mildly before turning back and opening the car door, about to get back into the driver’s seat.
Li Wan’er extended a hand and grabbed Xu Tingsheng’s clothes, “Hold on a moment.”
Xu Tingsheng turned.
Li Wan’er leaned in. As if dealing with a plastic model that she was extremly familiar with, she removed his tie before reattaching it in a practised motion that could not be any more natural.
“It was a bit crooked just now,” She explained.
Then, she tiptoped and adjusted Xu Tingsheng’s hair before stooping down and smoothing the creases in his clothes, even the legs of his pants.
Finally, she took away the remaining half-cigarette that he was holding, stubbed it and threw it into the bin.
This was her profession. Only when doing this did she appear confident, swift and competent.
Xu Tingsheng’s mind drifted off slightly at this moment. What had just transpired was just like the future that the old man Mister Angelo had spoken of, about after a man had achieved his fame. That was, of course, excluding…the kiss on the face.
“The suit’s pretty well done,” Xu Tingsheng said.
They got on the car, setting off.
Putting on the safety belt, Li Wan’er was silent for a while before she finally spoke, “Thank you.”
Xu Tingsheng watched the road ahead, saying in a neutral tone, “Don’t stand on ceremony with me. Take me helping you out here as paying you back for scolding you to the point of crying just now. When tonight’s matter is over, we’ll be even. You don’t have to feel that you owe me, and I won’t remember having helped you as well.”
“Why do you like being even so much?” Li Wan’er asked.
“You want endless troubles to follow?” Xu Tingsheng shot back.
“I, I won’t bother you anymore.”
“That’s why. That’s why it’s great being even.”
Li Wan’er no longer spoke.
Xu Tingsheng now asked her, “What’s the relationship between the two of us?”
Li Wan’er swivelled her head to look at him, “Huh?”
Xu Tingsheng explained, “What I mean is-what’s your scripted relationship with the rich dude I’m going to be acting as? If you tell them that I’m just an ordinary investor, based on your family’s current situation, do you think that they’d believe it?”
Li Wan’er considered it, “I, I haven’t thought about it yet. I also can’t think of anything off hand.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “That’s fine then. We don’t have to intentionally try. They’ll be guessing it themselves. Get what I mean? Just don’t randomly come out to cause trouble when the time comes.”
Li Wan’er bit her lip, “Right.”
Xu Tingsheng looked at her, “Stop biting your lip. You have lipstick on; any more of that and you’ll be scaring people to death. Also, if you really want to go on with the factory, you shouldn’t be as indecisive as this. Otherwise, even if you get past today, it would all still have been a waste.”
Li Wan’er said, “I know.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Honestly speaking, you really don’t have the ability to run a business. You should try to think of a way to get free of it as soon as you can. It’d be best if…after somehow getting past today, do like I said. Sell whatever you can and take off as quickly as possible.”
Li Wan’er spoke no longer.
“I know that what I say doesn’t sound nice,” Xu Tingsheng said, “Still, I’m teaching you how to go on living.”
Li Wan’er was reminded of her current predicament. With how things had played out, her goal could already only be: to go on living. Her life had just suddenly turned out like this. She dared not cry, afraid that she might stain her makeup. She looked up as she leaned against her seat, trying to repress her emotions with all her might.
Xu Tingsheng glanced at her again, saying ruthlessly, “You think that you’re very pitiful, very tragic? Actually, there are many people in this world who’re worse off than you. Li Wan’er, you’ve already lived for 31 years. Now, all you need to do is to live an ordinary life through your own efforts. Moreover, you have the qualifications and the skills; it can’t be that you might starve to death. Think of a way to leave! After today, it’ll all be calm and peaceful. How good is that?”
Li Wan’er made an affirmative sound, “After this has passed, I’ll definitely consider it properly.”
The car arrived in the hotel carpark. Xu Tingsheng called for Li Wan’er to get off, but she didn’t.
“What is it?” He asked.
“How should I introduce you later?” Li Wan’er asked, “What I mean is-you being so young, if we arrange an identity for you, it might only be possible that it’s the rich second gen type. As for the specifics…”
“I’m not acting as some rich dude’s son,” Xu Tingsheng said, “Can’t you just take me as the rich dude?”
“But how could there be a boss as young as this?” Li Wan’er asked troubledly.
“There really is one!” Xu Tingsheng exclaimed, “Have you ever heard of the online enterprise known as Hucheng Tongcheng? It hasn’t even been a year since it started, but its estimated value has nearly passed a hundred million already.”
Li Wan’er said, “I have heard it being mentioned before. Still, I’ve just returned from overseas recently, so I’m not too familiar with it.”
Xu Tingsheng asked, “You wouldn’t have heard about their boss then? He’s my age, twenty.”
Li Wan’er was rendered dumbstruck. Even though she had once been wealthy, it was still quite some distance away from those eight zeroes. Now, Xu Tingsheng was telling her that a youth of twenty had started a business of his own, with its assets already surpassing the hundred million mark in not even a year.
She felt this to be inconceivable, at the same time wondering what kind of a person he might be.
“Really,” Xu Tingsheng suddenly felt amused as he laughed, “I heard that that guy’s both young and handsome, and his name’s quite similar to mine as well. So…I’ve decided. I’ll act as him.”
Li Wan’er had not the time to think through it carefully.
Many of those who were attending the gathering successively arrived, high-end cars stopping in the carpark one after another with well-dressed men and women geting off from them.
Amongst them were former business partners of Li Wan’er’s father whom she’d once intimately addressed as Uncle, now having become her debtors. There were also her former playmates, classmates and friends, some of whom felt sympathetic while others were waiting to see her make a fool out of herself.
She had once been a focal point of this social circle, due to her father’s career and also her looks. Sadly, the situation was already completely different from how it had been back then.
Xu Tingsheng got off the car, walking over to the side door which he promptly opened before extending a hand to Li Wan’er.
In the carpark, everyone had already seen this brand new Mercedes-Benz G500. As they were wondering about which boss from their social circle had changed his car, they instead saw a young master who was dressed in high-end clothes and refined in his bearing step out.
“Which family’s he from?” Most of the people in this industry were acquainted, but none of them had seen this youth before.
The answer was very quickly revealed. Accepting his hand, it was an elegant, stately Li Wan’er who had been a major focal point of their discussions over this period of time due to a series of unexpected events who gracefully got off the car.
Discussions began popping up all over the place:
“This…wasn’t her family done for?”
“Yeah! The gathering aside, there’s even a large group of people who’ve come to deal her the final verdict today. Just this alone was already on account of her father. Otherwise, they’d long since have lodged a complaint with the courts and put her factory up for auction.”
“There’re probably quite a few people who have set their eyes on her, like those who don’t want money but just want the person, like those who want both money and also the person. Actually, if only she were willing, things really wouldn’t be to this extent.”
“What’s happened now then? The fertile waters have flowed into the fields of outsiders?”
“My Dad says that she called earlier, saying that she’s found someone willing to invest. It seems like it should be this person.”
“Based on her familial situation, it doesn’t have to be said what the dude’s intentions are if he’s still willing to be her investor, right? It’s probably just this rich second gen who likes the mature type.”
Amidst all these scattered comments that drifted over, Li Wan’er shivered slightly as she clutched Xu Tingsheng’s arm.
Smiling as she greeted the familiar faces around her, Li Wan’er made use of as they were rounding a corner and said to Xu Tingsheng in a low, nervous tone that reeked of unease, “Speak as little as possible later, lest you let something slip, If someone intentionally asks questions, trying to probe something out of you, leave it all to me to deal with.”
“Alright,” Xu Tingsheng said.